MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Volleyball Federation president (PNVF) Tats Suzara bared that they are seeking to call up a mix of professional and young players for the Philippine women’s volleyball team in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia next year.
Premier Volleyball League president Ricky Palou on Wednesday said there is a possibility that the champion of the Reinforced Conference could represent the national team in the biennial meet in May 2023.
“The PNVF has said that they’ll probably look at the champion of this tournament for the reinforced tournament to represent the country in the Southeast Asian Games which will be in May, this will be in Cambodia,” said Palou, who is also a board member of the PNVF, during the league’s press launch.
“We have the import, the team may not be that strong, so I think we’ll leave it up to the coaching staff to determine whether they will have additional players just to reinforce,” he added.
However, Suzara told Inquirer Sports that the federation is looking to select a mix of PVL and collegiate players.
“We will have a selection of national team for SEA Games,” the PNVF president said in a text message. “Not all (pros). Mixed (of professional and young players.)”
PVL commissioner and National Teams Commission head Tonyboy Liao said nothing is final yet.
“Not yet (final). It will be decided by the PNVF board,” Liao told Inquirer in a message.
The PNVF and Brazilian head coach Jorge Souza de Brito formed a selection of PVL players, led by Alyssa Valdez, Jaja Santiago, Ces Molina, and Mylene Paat, in the Hanoi SEA Games last May. But the team only won one game and ended up missing the podium anew since it last earned a bronze medal in 2005.
During PNVF’s hosting of the Asian Volleyball Confederation Cup for Women last August, the PVL Invitationals champion Creamline was a last-minute replacement for the initial National University-laden squad after the players from the UAAP title holders were ousted by the federation.
The Cool Smashers, who played without Alyssa Valdez, still earned the country’s best finish — sixth place — in the tournament.
Creamline also carried the flag in the Asean Grand Prix in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand last September, ending up last place in the four-team field. But Kyla Atienza’s emergence as Best Libero was a silver lining.